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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Functional foods and urban agriculture: two responses to climate change-related food insecurity Volume 20 Issue 1-2

Jane M. Dixon, Kelly J. Donati, Lucy L. Pike, Libby Hattersley

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 20(2) 14–18 Published online: 25 February 2009

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About the author/s

Jane M. Dixon

Kelly J. Donati

Lucy L. Pike

Libby Hattersley


Affluent diets have negative effects on the health of the population and the environment. Moreover, the ability of industrialised agricultural ecosystems to continue to supply these diets is threatened by the anticipated consequences of climate change. By challenging the ongoing supply the diets of affluent countries, climate change provides a population and environmental health opportunity. This paper contrasts two strategies for dealing with climate change-related food insecurity. Functional foods are being positioned as one response because they are considered a hyper-efficient mechanism for supplying essential micronutrients. An alternative response is civic and urban agriculture. Rather than emphasising increased economic or nutritional efficiencies, civic agriculture presents a holistic approach to food security that is more directly connected to the economic, environmental and social factors that affect diet and health.